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Allô, allô, Bonjour!

The vintage of 2014 is in the process of revealing itself, but not without a certain amount of infelicitous affairs. The wineboer and his henchmen found themselves pursued by all manner of adversity.

Allez, pull yourself together and on y va!

In this Slurp!
Locked in a room with three nymphomaniac nuns
In the grip of the flesh
Méhari kaput


Locked in a room with three nymphomaniac nuns


The month of June has been kind to us in all respects. The shack was looking good, and on the lawn a grand piano that had once plummeted from the heavens, was calmly turning to dust. Not a cloud in the sky.
All right, one small little cloud. But I always think that one is my dad popping in to see me every once in a while.


The perfect moment to give our barrel population a kiss of life.
Thirty brand new barriques were waiting for us to be unwrapped. And it wasn't even our birthday.


Plenty of reasons for this oak-update as spring had been growthful. Singing like the seven dwarves we set to work, and toward the end of the week the new barrels were all washed clean and keen to receive the immanent grape harvest.


The grapevines surrounding us were working diligently as well. Underneath that rustling foliage an insemination was taking place that would fill many of us with wistful envy.


This act of mass love-making did not remain without consequence: soon the grapes blossomed.


In the days that followed delicate petals drifted to the ground and unveiled the fresh green grape embryos. We became the proud parents of 80 million radiant grape babies.


Being boiled alive in a cauldron of oil? Being locked in a room with three nymphomaniac nuns? A religious debate with a bunch of ISIS members? All small potatoes.
Hail stones. That is what constitutes, at this particular time in the life cycle of the grape, the worst possible event to befall on a wineboer. The stems of the leaves have not yet lignified and are incredibly fragile. Not to mention those poor newborn baby grapes, heavens no, what an unfair battle...


But misfortune struck. Barely a day after the bulk-birthing, our phone raises the alarm. 'Risque de grêle'; hail warning.


And at that very moment, the heavens collided and a flash of lightning lit up the vineyards in a ghostly white light. Seconds later the firmament split open and unleashed upon us a downpour of biblical proportions. But yet again we were sheltered by God's hand. Rain, storm and whatever other commotion, the hail stones passed us by and lashed the Médoc 50 miles further down..

Cliquez ici for a brief interview with a colleague in the Médoc.

In the grip of the flesh

The new season of our Tv-show Wine according to Gort is not just about wine but also about food. For an episode on the best meat of France we headed to the birth-place of the 'Blonde d'Aquitaine'.


There, in the green hills of the Dordogne, my friend Jean-François runs his ancient farmstead. Every day he lives the dream of every man: juicy fields full of gorgeous blondes. Jean-Francois and his mother value their peace and quiet and are not too keen on foreign visitors.


The wineboer is being fitted with and NSA style mic the size of a pinhead.


Director Richard reads the anchor his lines for the tenth time that day. 'This episode is about meat. And meat comes from cows. Do you think you can remember that?'


All good to go; with the camera at the ready the men march farmwards.


There appears to be nobody home. It is hot and quiet. A bumblebee buzzes and a couple of scrawny chickens make for the shade.


Then a door creaks open. Jean-François and his mother Marie-Belle emerge. 'Have you ever actually seen a Blonde d'Aquitaine?' Marie-Belle enquires after the initial welcome.


When the response turns out to be negative she takes a picture from her purse. 'Look this is Bébert, our prize winning bull.'


Glancing upon this fearsome beast, the wineboer is plagued by unpleasant associations.


Fawning over Marie-Belle, the TV star follows her into the kitchen. Moments later the blinds swing open and from the window he addresses the crew: 'You guys go ahead. Doing this scene without me will give this episode something really unique. I'll add the voice-over later in the recording studio.'


But director Richard does not relent. Visibly reluctant the wineboer comes out.


'I hope we don't have to milk them or something?' squeaks our wine hero nervously.
Jean-François ignores it. 'Just make sure you stay behind me,' he warns. 'Until they get to know you a little. They're sweet animals, but they can be a little unruly...'


'Keep a couple of feet between you and the animal,' Jean-Francois advises. 'In that way they can gradually get used to you.' By way of evidence he positions himself at ball-height in front of the razor-sharp horns.


On the other side of the fence, prizewinning stud bull Bébert keeps a suspicious eye on the wineboer's antics.


'I'll read you your lines one last time,' director Richard sighs from behind the camera. 'This species is called Blonde d'Aquitaine, they are beef cattle. They do not produce milk.'


The wineboer squeezes everything he has from his single brain cell in an attempt to take in this information. But during his moment of concentration something crucial escapes him: mother cow Marguerite is not amused. She deems her personal space to be unreasonably intruded upon. Snorting and pawing the ground she lowers her head in preparation for a fatal blow.


The last thing the wineboer espies is a huge white cow's head looming over him. Hot snoring breath wafts in his face. Does he see that right? Can cows smile?


Then his light goes out.

Méhari kaput


Scantily a few days later and our grape champion is once again in 'Forme Olympique'. Cheerfully he mounts the wineboer-mobile and bolts, followed by the camera crew who can barely keep up, down the castle drive, gaily honking his horn.
Ready for new adventures!


But his triumphant drive is short lived. Less than a hundred yards from the castle gate his voiture produces the sound of a defecating walrus and grinds to a squeaking halt. In spite of furious attempts at push-starting, the vehicle doesn't budge.


'Hm...' the lord of the manor studies the interior of his loyal steed. 'So this has got to be the engine...' In the meantime the crew are optimistically trying to assemble a tow-bar; ignorant of the fact that these kinds of vehicles don't offer anything that you could connect such to.


The outside temperature meanwhile, has risen to blast-furnace levels. From behind the wheel the wineboer encourages his équipe: 'Come on guys! We're nearly there! Only another 3 miles to the local mechanic!'


When the film buffs, gasping and panting, eventually push the wineboer-limo onto the car park, the twelfth stroke of a of the church clock tower dies down in the distance. Lunch time. The repairman has left for a well-deserved afternoon bite. 'Retour à 14.30 hrs', his note announces.


What are you gonna do? Fired up by the fervent cries of encouragement of the feudal lord, the équipe pushes him in his landauer back up the hill.


But, as Buddha said: 'Shadow exists only by the grace of light'; and see, there is the wineboer's lover frolicking towards the exhausted pushers with a bottle of chilled red Bordeaux and a 'Salade Méhari'.

Slurp tip to go with this dish:
Accompany a Méhari kaput with a full-bodied red wine. In summer lightly chilled at 7-10 degrees Celsius.
Cliquez ici.

Cliquez ici
for the recipe.

  Allez, Wholehearted Santé!



You can find Château la Tulipe de la Garde Bordeaux Superieur exclusively at Sainsbury's supermarkets.
Cliquez ici for more information.

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